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Is Pasture-Raised Chicken Healthier Than Conventional?

Posted on January 06, 2019

Three Facts That Point To Yes

Being skeptical of food label claims is totally understandable. But scientific evidence sure is hard to refute. So, to really drive home the importance of how your meat is raised as it relates to your health, we’ve put together a list of 3 facts that prove pasture-raised chicken—that is, chicken raised outdoors with room to roam and forage—is better for you than conventional.

 Pastured chicken has more better fat.

It’s been shown that breast meat from chickens allowed to roam and forage is higher in omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are not produced by your body—you have to get them from your diet. And many doctors and nutritionists believe that the balance of these two fatty acids is one of the more critical components to good health. Omega 6 fatty acids are useful, but too many are counter productive and potentially harmful, as they are inflammatory—which is why balancing with omega 3s is healthful. And the same study that shows more omega 3s in pastured chicken shows a lower ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in that meat as well—which is what nutritionists tout as the right proportion of these fatty acids.

Pastured chicken less bad fat.

Sometimes the best answers come from the farmers themselves. In 1999, chicken farmer turned researcher Barb Groski tested meat from both pasture-raised chicken and conventionally raised chicken and compared their nutritional content. One of her major learnings was that pastured poultry contained 21% less fate and 30% less saturated fat. Here’s a short form version of the findings of the comparison.

Pastured chicken supports a healthy immune system.

Gorski’s study and others that have followed since show that pastured chicken contains significantly more vitamin A than conventional chicken. This wonder vitamin contributes to skin and bone health and ensures a strong immune system. It also happens to be a potent antioxidant.

In short, the healthiest meat starts with the healthiest animals. And more and more research shows that pasture-raised chicken is truly nutritionally superior to the meat from conventional birds.